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the Trade with Independence and Integrity

New Picture RAPEX, the EU Rapid alert system for dangerous non-food consumer products, has recently revealed that a style of hairclip imported from overseas has been recalled from end users in the UK. This particular hairclip was recalled due to the fact it contained excessive amounts of Cadmium. (40.3% by weight), well over the limit set by the REACH regulations of 0.01%. New Picture (6) Cadmium Cadmium has long been recognised as a toxin and a known carcinogen, harmful when it is ingested or inhaled.  As a result of its harmful qualities, The EU extended the restrictions on Cadmium in the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Directive in December 2011.  The regulation restricts cadmium content in jewellery to 0.01% (100 mg/kg) by weight of metal and this applies to “metal beads and other metal jewellery components, metal parts of jewellery and imitation jewellery articles and hair accessories (i.e. bracelets, necklaces, rings, piercing jewellery, wrist-watches, wrist-wear, hair accessories, brooches, cufflinks).  Cadmium is also restricted in plastics & brazing fillers (limit of 0.01% by weight) and paints & recovered PVC (limit of 0.1% by weight).  New Picture (5) Lead Lead has also been restricted by the (REACH) Directive, since October 2013. The regulation restricts Lead content in jewellery articles and hair accessories (i.e. bracelets, necklaces, rings, piercing jewellery, wrist-watches, wrist-wear, hair accessories, brooches, cufflinks) to 0.05% by weight. Jewellers at all stages of the supply chain clearly need to respond by ensuring their products are compliant.

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Testing at The Analytical Laboratory The Analytical Laboratory at Assay Office Birmingham is UKAS accredited to carry out both Cadmium testing on its own or a Lead & Cadmium Combined test where the content of both metals is determined at the same time.  The Analytical Laboratory offers two testing options - A standard full reference test and also a quick test. The quick test is a cheaper alternative to the full test, recognised by UKAS and developed in house, UNIQUE TO The Analytical Laboratory. It is used by many major retailers and suppliers. The main difference between the full test and the Quick test is the full test will test all components separately where as the quick test will group up to 3 components together as a composite to reduce the test cost for the customer. If the composite components pass the quick test then the item complies with the Cadmium/Lead Regulations. New Picture (4) TURNAROUND TIME IS JUST 5-7 WORKING DAYS For further information on Cadmium or Lead testing or to request a quotation please contact Steve Franklin on or 0121 262 1017. To download a request form please click here.



The Birmingham Assay Office to sponsor the BATF Platinum Jubilee Competition 2022

20th Jan 2022

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The Birmingham Assay Office welcomes local manufacturer to witness the first commemorative mark struck in Birmingham to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

1st Nov 2021

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The Birmingham Assay Office celebrates twenty-one employees for their long service with a combined total of 360 dedicated years.

27th Oct 2021

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25th Sep 2018

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City of Wolverhampton wins Touchstone Award 2018

8th Jun 2018

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2nd May 2018

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